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How Do You Know If Your Pain Is Neuropathic?

How Does Neuropathic Pain Start?

The pain usually starts as a burning sensation and affected areas are often sensitive to the touch. Symptoms of neuropathic pain include excruciating pain, pins, and needles, difficulty correctly sensing temperatures, and numbness. 

What Does Neuropathic Pain Feel Like?

In people who suffer from neuropathic pain, touch or cold can cause pain, and stimuli that wouldn’t normally cause pain, such as brushing the skin, can be painful. It’s often worse at night. It might be mild or it might be severe. It is common for nerve pain to interfere with important aspects of life such as sleep, sex, work, and exercise. 

What are Some of the Sources of Neuropathic Pain?

  1. Autoimmune diseases. There are several types of inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, such as Sjogren’s syndrome, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy.
  2. Diabetes. Among people with diabetes, more than half will develop some type of neuropathy.
  3. Infections. Some of these infections are viral or bacterial, such as Lyme disease, shingles, Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis B and C, leprosy, diphtheria, and HIV.
  4. Inherited disorders. Disorders such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease are hereditary types of neuropathy.
  5. Tumors. Growths, cancerous and noncancerous, can develop on the nerves or press on nerves. It is also possible to develop polyneuropathy from some cancers associated with the immune system. 
  6. Bone marrow disorders. These include an abnormal protein in the blood, a form of bone cancer, lymphoma, and the rare disease amyloidosis.
  7. Other diseases. These include kidney disease, liver disease, connective tissue disorders, and an underactive thyroid.

Foods To Avoid if You Have Neuropathic Pain

  • Gluten
  • Sugar and artificial sweeteners
  • Alcohol
  • Saturated fats
  • Salty foods
  • Refined grains

Treatment for Neuropathic Pain

Treatment goals are to manage the condition causing your neuropathy and to relieve symptoms. Your doctor might recommend watchful waiting to see if your neuropathy improves pain relievers, antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, and other therapies. Tramadol is also a pain reliever and not an over-the-counter drug. It works by changing the way your brain senses pain.

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